The $99 Xbox? Ouya's Affordable Gaming Console Aims to Shake Up an Industry

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The first level of Sonic is free, but to unlock all the levels it costs $6.99. Ouya users are asked to input their credit card numbers during the set-up process.

Spurred by Mobile
What you won't find are a lot of games just brought over from mobile phones, even though the impetus to create the system stemmed from the impact of mobile gaming.

"Games are becoming common on the television. They are sequels, they cost too much to make them -- you are getting the same games over and over again," Uhrman says. " We were starting to see more innovative games on mobile platforms because it was easier for developers to create them."

Uhrman, who has spent 10 years in the video game industry, said she began to see game makers leaving their games for consoles and move over to making games for the phone and tablet. She herself found herself playing games on an 8-inch screen with her daughter, rather than on the big TV in front of her. As the industry changed and evolved with people playing on those smaller screens and testing games before buying them, Uhrman believed the entire console market had to be flipped on its head.

Getting What You Pay For?
Bold words as the brand new Xbox and Playstations make their way to market later this year. However, there are certainly many things the Ouya cannot do that those consoles can. Beyond providing richer games and graphics, they provide more features when it comes to home entertainment, including video and music streaming services. Although Ouya plans to add some of those features soon.

Additionally, early reviews of the Ouya also knock the system for some software and graphics bugs. "There are a few issues that Ouya will need to overcome as quickly as possible. One is this issue of stability," Blau says. "Gamers are a tolerant group but only to an extent."

Still Uhrman believes the console, which is already sold out through Amazon for now, offers something very different for a clear purpose. And, of course, there's also that other reason to consider it, Uhrman says: "I mean, it's $99."

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